Happy but not Idealistic

Question:

I just finished reading Now I’ll Tell You Everything, and I cried for about an hour, starting towards the end of the book (a mixture of sad and happy tears). I wanted to send you an e-mail to thank you for the Alice series. I starting reading the books when I was about 11, and I am now 23 and feel like I have grown up with Alice. The series and the characters are so real and dear in my heart that I feel like Alice, Elizabeth, Pamela, Gwen, Patrick, ect. are my old friends. Especially as a middle schooler, I learned so much about growing up from Alice’s experiences, and from her discussions with Lester and her father. My love for the characters has keeps me motivated to stay up-to-date with the new books throughout all of these years, even in recent years when I felt that I had mostly outgrown them. That is why Now I’ll Tell You Everything was the perfect conclusion to this series— it allowed all of your long-time fans to glimpse so far into the future of all of these characters that we love, and it was beautiful. It was great to witness Alice go through college and her early 20s, which was all very relatable to me, and then to read on as she aged way past me. It was actually a truly surreal reading experience, to have her age so rapidly over the course of one book, which I read in two days. Reading about her later years was fascinating and I absolutely adored the descriptions of her family life—I can only hope to have something similar in my future. I love that her marriage was happy but not idealistic. I am sure that as I get older, I will be able to look back at this book and relate more strongly to these later life passages than I can at this point, just as I related so strongly to the earlier books when I was in middle school and high school. I truly believe that your series is a great thing for any young woman to read. I still have several of the books, and I definitely plan to keep them in the hopes that I can share the series with my daughter(s) in the future (if I end up having a daughter). Thank you again, for all of the time that you have dedicated towards these wonderful characters and stories! I know that they will stay in my heart.

On a side note, I noticed from your website that you were in my area on your book tour a few days ago and I wanted so badly to come and meet you, but unfortunately I am very busy with grad school at the moment and had clinicals that evening! I hope to have another opportunity in the future.

Phyllis replied:

I’m sorry that we missed each other.  Thanks so much for your email.  I think it’s quite probable that as you go through some of the events that Alice experienced, you may want to touch base with her again, just to compare.  That’s what old friends do.

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